Indexed on: 11 May '15Published on: 11 May '15Published in: Applied Health Economics and Health Policy
Reductions in prices following the expiry of patents on second-generation antipsychotics means that they could be made available to patients with schizophrenia in low-income countries. In this study we examine the cost effectiveness of antipsychotics for schizophrenia in Uganda.We developed a decision-analytic 10-state Markov model to represent the clinical and treatment course of schizophrenia and the experience of the average patient within the Uganda healthcare system. The model was run for a base population of 25-years-old patients attending Butabika National Referral Mental Hospital, in annual cycles over a lifetime horizon. Parameters were derived from a primary chart abstraction study, a local community pharmacy survey, published literature, and expert opinion where necessary. We computed mean disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) and costs (in US$ 2012) for each antipsychotic, incremental cost, and DALYs averted as well as incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICERs).In the base-case analysis, mean DALYs were highest with chlorpromazine (27.608), followed by haloperidol (27.563), while olanzapine (27.552) and risperidone had the lowest DALYs (27.557). Expected costs were highest with quetiapine (US$4943), and lowest with risperidone (US$4424). Compared to chlorpromazine, haloperidol was a dominant option (i.e. it was less costly and more effective); and risperidone was dominant over both haloperidol and quetiapine. The ICER comparing olanzapine to risperidone was US$5868 per DALY averted.When choosing between first-generation antipsychotics, clinicians should consider haloperidol as the first-line agent for schizophrenia. However, overall, risperidone is a cost-saving strategy; policymakers should consider its addition to essential medicines lists for treatment of schizophrenia in Uganda.